Rubbish Removal: A Landlord’s Problem

 

Renting out a stratum of the apartment complex is an excellent way to earn passive income.  However, as with all kinds of businesses, landlords can encounter problems with their tenants.

Some of the most common challenges faced in the leasing business are unpaid or late rentals, periods of unoccupied property, burdensome paperwork, property maintenance, and disruptive tenants.

Tenants can be unruly in several ways.  Significant damage can happen with rowdy tenants.  The apartment could be a haven for Illegal activities like drugs or illegal gambling.  Going against noise guidelines is a common problem.  Leaving exposed garbage is also a significant problem. In the end, the landlord is responsible for rubbish removal.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australians produced 2,215 kilograms of waste per capita. If renters leave their garbage after their tenancy, it is the landlord’s responsibility to dispose of it as soon as possible to keep the property clean and attractive to future tenants.

 

Has the tenant left?

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)advises landlords to check first if the tenancy has ended before taking action.  There could be cases wherein the property appears abandoned, yet the tenant may have left on holiday, long-term work assignment, or in the hospital.

If the tenant is unreachable, landlords can apply for a tribunal order with NCAT.  Locks can also be changed to secure the premises.

 

What do renters usually leave behind?

Landlords can dispose of rubbish and perishable items at once.  Broken furniture, old newspapers, perishable food left in the kitchen, and dead plants can be thrown away without the consent of the tenant.

There are removal experts who are readily available to handle rubbish removal safely. To save time, it would be a good idea to let them handle the disposal themselves.

For items other than rubbish, the landlord must notify the former tenant and specify a deadline for collection.  The notification can be done in writing or in person.  If the tenant is unreachable, the landlord needs to display the notice prominent on the premises.

Valuable goods, like clothes and electrical gadgets, need to be stored safely for fourteen days from the day the tenant received a collection notice.

Personal documents, like passports, bank statements, and photographs, need to be kept for 90 days in a safe place.

Can landlords charge a fee?

An occupancy fee is allowable if there are enough goods left in the property to prevent future rental.  The cost is usually equivalent to one day’s rent but only up to a maximum of 14 days.

What can landlords do if the tenant fails to claim the items after 14 days?

The items can be donated to charity, given to community groups, or sold for fair value with proceeds given to the tenant.

However, the best recourse is to contact a rubbish removal company that will handle everything – from the collection, disposal to cleanup.  The premises will be available for lease faster.

Conclusion

Maintaining good relationships with tenants is essential.

If a landlord is too busy, hiring a property manager to inspect the property regularly may be a good option.  Having someone onsite to observe any garbage disposal issues is one of the best ways to ensure the cleanliness of the property.

It is also advisable to agree with tenants beforehand regarding costs related to short-term storage and legal disposal in case there are items left behind.

 

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